Clemson University Libraries has become the newest member of HathiTrust (www.hathitrust.org), a global partnership of major research institutions and libraries working towards its mission to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future. Today, ten years after its founding, HathiTrust holds the largest set of digitized books managed by the academic, research, and library community, which offers an unprecedented opportunity to steward the cultural record through increasingly interdependent work that develops capacity and sparks innovation.
Launched in 2008, HathiTrust has a growing membership currently comprising more than one hundred forty members.
Over the last ten years, members have contributed more than 16 million volumes to the digital library, digitized from their library collections through a number of means including Google and Internet Archive digitization and in-house initiatives. More than 6 million of the contributed volumes are in the public domain and freely available online.HathiTrust serves a dual role. First, as a trusted repository it guarantees the long-term preservation of the materials it holds, providing the expert curation and consistent access long associated with research libraries. Second, as a service for members and the public good, HathiTrust offers persistent access to the digital collections. This includes viewing, downloading, and searching access to public domain volumes, and searching access to copyrighted works. Specialized features are also available which facilitate access by persons with print disabilities, and allow users to gather subsets of the digital library into “collections” that can be searched and browsed.
Clemson University Libraries looks forward to membership in HathiTrust as a means to assure preservation of its own digital copies and contribute or sustain those volumes to an increasingly comprehensive digital archive of library materials converted from print that is co-owned and managed by academic institutions.